Writing a resume with no experience can be tough.
If you are trying to get a promotion, it’s a different process. You have a track record to present. But without experience the whole thing changes.
It can feel like the paper gets larger and larger as you try to fill it up with nothing. This isn’t the same as dealing with a job loss over 50. At least those searchers have some experience. But, there is something you need to know about a resume. Writing a resume has more to do with explaining who you are than what you’ve done. It’s just a way for recruiters to know more about the person coming in for the interview. Your job search can take a lot of different forms, in person, online or promotions all take a good resume. But first you have to know who will be reading the resume, before you start to write it.
Identify 10-20 great companies where you’d like to work
You actually have an advantage.
When someone is trying to get a promotion, it’s a little bit tricky. Every mistake you’ve made at work can stick out in the recruiters mind. You, on the other hand haven’t made these mistakes in front of them. You actually have an advantage.
Job searchers often start their search by looking on jobs boards, classified ads and sites like Craigslist. The jobs posted there are jobs nobody wants to fill. You need to start looking for jobs you want, not the pile of jobs no one is interested in. Start with a map and identify 10-20 great companies close to you, or if you work remotely, 10-20 companies where you want to be.
Good companies are always looking for great people. The best jobs never make it to Craigslist because the friends and family of the people who work there grab them before they get announced. You are about to be one of those people.
So plot out the places you want to work and stop looking for help wanted signs!
Get a great cover letter and resume design template
Your resume has three important parts. These are the must-haves for resumes.
1. Have a cover letter.
This is mandatory. Hiring managers will literally throw out all the resumes that don’t have cover letters because the applicant, “wasn’t willing to put in the work” and add a cover letter.
This is almost mandatory in most online job application processes.
Don’t let a small detail stop you from your dream job. Imagine the next 10 years being right where you are now because you didn’t spend some time writing a cover letter.
2. Design matters.
After the hiring culls the resumes without cover letters, you have to grab their attention.
Did you know the color blue expresses reliability, trust and integrity? Blue is a great color to put in front of the hiring manager, but not too much. Don’t overdo it.
Our free cover letter/resume template incorporates the right amount of design and psychology to make your resume stand out.
Want a resume and cover letter template that will "help" the hiring manager choose you?
We put all the psychology of fonts, colors and designs into this matching resume kit, and you can have it for free!
3. You have skills, highlight them.
Throw away the ancient, old resume your grandparents used to get hired at boring jobs for 40 years.
Those jobs have left.
You don’t need to have your address at the top, followed by your objective, then chronology of your work history followed by a crumbled up flight to the trash can because it’s so boring.
Explain that you are honest because you handled all the money for your local minnow gathering fundraiser, (I’m just guessing.) Talk about the times you created memes that went viral for your local coffee grinder club called Jitters.
You have done valuable things. They just may not have happened at a job or for a company. Show people your value, regardless of where you learned it.
Tell the truth
Do not say you were the director of communications and distribution to describe your paper route. It isn’t clever, it’s lying. Do not lie about your experience because most companies aren’t don’t want experience.
They want people with character.
Show them that you have character and being honest. Explain the best parts about the reality of who you are. Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t stupid. In fact, a lot of them are probably very smart. Instead of twisting your paper route experience, explain how when you had a paper route you were dependable, you worked the early hours and daily routine without exception and that every paper was easily accessible for the homeowner.
By the way, why did you have a paper route?
You do know this isn’t 1963 don’t you?
Put your resume in front of the decision makers, in a unique way
Don’t be annoying but, a resume printed on a doughnut box gets peoples attention!
I’ve heard of people who pulled weeds in the common area of the company where they want to work to start a conversation.
Find a creative, un-annoying way to have a conversation with the right people. After all, thats all an interview is.
Get ready for an interview
The average person pays around $95,000 on a college degree and then gets beat (interviews are competitions, make no mistake) by someone who prepares better than they did!
The trick to winning a job interview is preparation.
You should know what questions they will ask and how you will answer them. Don’t get sideswiped by the old, “Tell us a little about yourself” question. You’ll want to know what your body language is saying. You should understand how to speak well. This is what gets you hired, not Economics 101. You can do this on your own or check out this job interview course. It’s a whole lot cheaper than $95,000!
Don’t be intimidated by your lack of experience. You would be surprised at how many hiring managers want “new blood” in their organization. Your perspective and ideas are really valuable.
It’s time to put them to use.